I am a midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Power of Our Inner Strength

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Photo by:   Christy Mountford
Brisbane, Australia

I want to really thank the mama in this story.  I appreciate her sharing her journey with us here.  I find three things to learn while reading this birth story.  

The first was just how much we really long for the love and emotional support of our partners during birth.  Sadly, when that piece is missing, although we can (must) still get through it, we can be left flat and often times depressed at a time that should be joyous and monumental.

Secondly is just how much birth is really all our own.  Whether or not we have the emotional support we desperately long for is truly irrelevant.  Regardless, we have a journey to travel and it will happen with or without the support we want.  Frankly, this is true of the entire journey through life.  We long so much to share it, but the reality is it is truly our own.  The one and only truly with us is Allah (SWT) and the more we can learn to depend on HIM the easier everything becomes, subhanAllah!
Third is that our bodies are amazingly created to carry and birth our babies!  Trusting in the natural process and perfect design will get us through without the aid of man-made drugs and interventions!  Way to go, Mama, ya Rab!

I hope you enjoy this story.  Please let me know if you'd like to share yours.  Now on to the story...The Power of Our Inner Strength...

My third pregnancy was not the easiest. It came from a relationship that was also coming to its end and I was not the happiest of pregnant women. The entire pregnancy had been long, hot and exhausting. By the time I reached my ninth month, I was ready for it to be over. That’s just how I felt.

Waking up at 3am with that heavy pressure, a bloody show and those familiar stomach pains sprung me into action.  My husband was about to go on a trip to another state and I knew that I would be doing it alone. 

I called him on the phone to let him know that I was in labor (he was always working).  He came within 30 minutes. “Are you sure this is it?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said through tight teeth, “this is it!”

The contractions were probably coming every three minutes. He got me to the van and then realized that there was a high likelihood that my waters would break; so he ran back into the apartment to get towels and put them underneath me. 

We started driving to the hospital, first dropping off our other two kids to a friend’s home. On the way he realized that he needed to get diapers for one of the kids so we stopped by the store first. I remember trying to breathe through the pain waiting anxiously for him to come back. By this time the contractions were probably coming 2 minutes apart. I really don’t know as I didn’t time them. I just remember a couple looking at me through the car window and feeling scared.  Eventually he came with the diapers and got me to the hospital.

Walking to the triage was hard. I could barely get through one step without having to stop for breath, but finally I was there. There was one other girl there who seemed to be in way more pain than me. She was sitting with her friend screaming. 

I just wanted to get through the contractions. My husband couldn’t stay with me; he had to catch a flight.  However, my friend was on her way to be with me. I lied and said, “I don’t mind; just go. I can handle this.”

I remember sitting in the triage with a newspaper in my hand trying to breathe through my pain. I sat there for about 20 minutes and then felt the overwhelming urge to push. I walked up to the nurse in the triage and said, ”Excuse me, but I want to push now.”

At that point the place went into total bedlam. There were nurses everywhere and somehow I was on a bed in a room.  I was examined and told that they were going to break my waters as I was totally effaced and ready to push. After that the pain really kicked in but it was too late for pain meds.  I just went into the business of pushing. 

This pushing seemed to take forever. I was pushing hard. They told me to stop pushing while he crowned. At this point the room seemed to fill with doctors. There were about seven and I remember one looking at me with the biggest eyes and saying, “Push, come on push!” 

I knew there was something special about this baby!  I pushed as hard as I could; I pushed so hard, my head spun!  Suddenly he came out. Everyone looked so relieved and happy.
When they told me how much he weighed, I understood why there were so many doctors in the room…10lbs 6oz!  The last measurement had placed him at 8lbs. I couldn’t believe I had given birth to a baby that big without medication!

Alhamdulllah, I know I wasn’t alone. I gave birth to that baby without pain meds and had a very quick recovery. That was when I realized that our bodies can handle natural birth, even with a big baby!

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